Anacom should be empowered to apply competition law

سوف يصبح إلغاء خدمات الاتصالات أسهل

Luis Nazaré and Álvaro Dâmaso, two former presidents of the communications regulator, argue that Anacom should also gather powers to apply competition law, a task that is part of the competence of the Competition Authority.

This morning, those in charge took part in a conference panel that marks the 20 years of regulation in Portugal, organized by Anacom, in which they reviewed the most important milestones for the sector over the past few years and anticipated the next challenges.

Luís Nazaré, who chaired Anacom for four years, starting in 1998, pointed out flaws in the performance of the Competition Authority – referring, for example, to the timing of decisions – that it sees more easily circumventable if the powers of competition law are in the hands of sectoral regulators, where they exist.

«Anacom lacks the powers to apply competition law,» he said when addressing the Portuguese model that concentrates regulation, spectrum management and government advisory functions in a single entity, a «concentrationist» model, he argues, but with the which agrees.

In sectors where there are vertical regulators, the Competition Authority would function as a complementary body, he added.

Álvaro Dâmaso agreed with the position and also defends that the sectorial regulator should have more competences, namely in areas such as the concentration of prices.

The issue of prices for telecommunications services, namely in mobile broadband, was also a topic addressed by another former president of Anacom, Fernando Mendes, for whom the «communications market for citizens is not competitive today».

This official also drew attention to the bundle offers practiced by most operators, asking whether the triple and 4 play packages of operators will not be a sign of a commercial stance identical to that which Microsoft adopts when it joins the operating system with Internet Explorer, so questioned by international regulators.

New generation networks, the mobile market, security and privacy and universal service were areas identified by former presidents as major future challenges for regulation.

Jaime Andres, member of the Competition Authority, present at the conference, ended up intervening following the statements of the former governors of the regulator and although saying that he would not confront them said that the AdC has in its plan of activities the objective of reducing time of the investigation processes and with that the decision time and has already defined the necessary measures to achieve this objective.

The official also defended that the powers of the two bodies are different and that, while Anacom has ex-ante regulation, AdC has ex-post regulation. The first defines measures to ensure the correct functioning of the market, the second corrects situations that hinder its functioning, restricting competition.

It is recalled that the AdC recently presented a decision, which contains a record fine to PT and Zon. The decision took seven years to be known.